KSRelief signs project to combat cholera in Yemen

KSRelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and Nivio Zagaria, head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Yemen, sign project to combat cholera epidemic in Yemen. (SPA)
Updated 26 May 2017

KSRelief signs project to combat cholera in Yemen

JEDDAH: The King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid and Relief (KSRelief) has launched rapid response efforts to combat and contain cholera in Yemen, initiating a number of activities in this regard.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser to the Royal Court and head of the center, this week signed a project with the World Health Organization (WHO) that will serve all provinces in Yemen.
In a press statement, Al-Rabeeah said the broad programs and activities targeting the outbreak will benefit Yemenis across the country, and comes after the inauguration of a 500-ton convoy carrying medicines and supplies.
He said the program aims to reduce the number of deaths resulting from the cholera outbreak across Yemen by increasing early detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment efforts, as well as enhancing the rapid response and capabilities of the central laboratories at the Ministry of Health and local hospitals.
Al-Rabeeah also confirmed that KSRelief has taken necessary measures to sterilize water, test the water quality, and cleanse water sources, while also training health workers and employees of labs to discover cases and diagnose them.
The center also worked on educating and improving health behaviors and ways to apply cleanliness and food safety measures, as well as distributing necessary medicines and materials to combat cholera in target areas.
“The Kingdom is the first responder to support the UN in Yemen, with $274 million, and was at the forefront of countries supporting Yemen and its people in this humanitarian crisis, as well as in its rapid response to the cholera outbreak,” said Al-Rabeeah.
“We commend and appreciate the partnership with the UN and international, regional and local organizations and look forward to rapid implementation using all available logistical solutions across Yemen to alleviate the suffering of Yemenis and save the lives of thousands,” he continued.
He called on the international humanitarian community and UN organizations to stand by the center in this stage to prevent any attacks by Houthi militias on humanitarian aid going to beneficiaries.
For his part, the head of the WHO’s mission in Yemen Dr. Nivio Zagaria said the support of the center is critical to facing the epidemic in Yemen.
“Your support and the support of others is important to us and what we need to quickly respond to the cholera outbreak, and we agree with your vision of combating cholera as it is an extension of the working partnership with you over a year and half,” he said.
“You are right in your request of the UN to quickly intervene and respond, and not to delay in order to combat cholera in Yemen, and your strong message that we wish to direct to the world is that all Yemenis are in need of the support of the international community. For this we are beside you today to sign this critical project to combat this epidemic,” he said.

Saudi Crown Prince takes Pakistan bond ‘to new level’

Updated 18 February 2019

Saudi Crown Prince takes Pakistan bond ‘to new level’

  • Asseri said Saudi Arabia has deferred payments on oil worth billions of US dollars from time to time in order to ease pressure on the Pakistan economy
  • Pakistan’s relatively young population is also hoping for a stronger relationship with the Kingdom

RIYADH: A major transformation is underway in Saudi Arabia’s economic relationship with Pakistan, according to Dr. Ali Awadh Asseri, a former ambassador to Islamabad.

In a wide-ranging interview with Arab News, the former envoy said greater interaction between business and the private sectors in both countries will take the historical bond “to a new level.” 

Asseri, who spent nine years in Islamabad and was the second-longest serving Saudi ambassador to the country, said: “We know that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have always enjoyed an incomparable level of understanding and friendship based on religion, culture and values. There is a historical bond between the two countries. 

“I have no doubt that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is taking a cohesive approach to strengthen the relationship and take it to another level.” 

Asseri said that while Saudi Arabia and Pakistan cooperated closely on security matters, bilateral trade between the countries remained limited to about $4 billion. 

“We need to ... encourage the private sectors to interact more. We can help Pakistan’s industry and we need to become more involved in the trade sector. There are advanced industries and firms in Pakistan, and they have raw materials — it’s a good environment for investors.”

Asseri said Saudi Arabia has deferred payments on oil worth billions of US dollars from time to time in order to ease pressure on the Pakistan economy. The Kingdom is also making billion-dollar direct investments in the country in line with the China-Pakistan economic corridor. 

“I am happy to see a major transformation underway in Saudi-Pakistani economic relationships with our leadership and government deciding to invest in the economic development of Pakistan,” he said. 

The former ambassador said frequent official visits between the two countries were important. 

“I came back recently from Pakistan, and the vibe of the media, government and people was so optimistic. Pakistanis were excited about the crown prince’s visit. People hope it will bring great opportunities for the economy as well as strengthening the political and social ties between the two countries,” he said.

Asseri said Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had faced many challenges together in recent decades.

In 2001, during Asseri’s first year as Saudi ambassador in Pakistan, the 9/11 attacks on New York led to greater cooperation between Islamabad and Riyadh in dealing with terrorism.

The Kingdom had been closely involved with Pakistan since its independence, he said. “King Abdul Aziz sent King Saud and Prince Faisal to Pakistan at that time. So if we go back through history, we can see that this relationship is truly unique.” 

Asseri also highlighted the ties between the two countries on humanitarian issues, security and military issues, saying: “Pakistan has suffered serious security and humanitarian consequences of the decades-long war in Afghanistan, besides housing millions of Afghan refugees.

“Together Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have worked for peace in Afghanistan and will do whatever it takes to achieve this long-desired goal.”

Asseri said Pakistanis were quick to show their appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s assistance in the past regardless of the change in Pakistani leadership over the years. 

“The relationship is unique because it is between people. Such a relationship (will) keep growing with every generation.

“When Pakistan was in a difficult position in 2005 after a devastating earthquake, Saudi Arabia went out of its way to provide the support it needed. Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz and eight ministers visited Balochistan. Field hospitals were created with Saudi doctors treating people and performing surgery there.” 

Pakistan also has a deep loyalty to Saudi Arabia, Asseri said. “Pakistan has military expertise, and through cooperation between the two countries, it helped the Saudi military during its development.” 

“The Kingdom’s recent appointment of a Saudi commercial attache in Pakistan will also bolster the economic links between the two countries,” he said. 

“There are good minds in Pakistan and good products that could be manufactured in Saudi Arabia.”

Asseri said he is also optimistic that Saudi plans to build a major oil refinery in Gwadar will help create an “economic hub.” 

The former envoy said the Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan will add to the relationship between the countries. 

Pakistan’s relatively young population is also hoping for a stronger relationship with the Kingdom. 

“Young Pakistanis who are advanced in the IT and industrial sectors are looking forward to helping and cooperating with Saudi Arabia, and sharing their experiences and knowledge,” he said.